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Search continues for Illinois couple and children missing for over 2 months

Downstate Illinois family has been missing for nine weeks
Downstate Illinois family has been missing for nine weeks 00:59

Authorities are continuing to search for a family of four who disappeared from their home in Illinois more than two months ago, CBS Chicago reported. The family went missing after a no-contact order required the husband to stay away from his wife and two children, police said.

Stephen Lutz, 44, Monica Lutz, 34, and their sons, 9-year-old Nicholas and 11-year-old Aiden, were all reported missing by the couple's adult daughter on Feb. 10. Some of the family's other relatives have said that Stephen Lutz has a history of substance misuse and mental illness, CBS Chicago reported. 

"They've all said things that are very alarming ... not just that there is a possible split personality disorder - believed to have all the signs of schizophrenia," said Gia Wright, founder of an Illinois-based nonprofit organization called the Missing Persons Awareness Network, in comments to CBS Chicago. "There has been a drug use charges since 2006 on Stephen."

The organization, which focuses on raising awareness about missing persons cases in Illinois, particularly those that involve children, launched a fundraiser that aims to collect $20,000 as a reward for information about Nicholas and Aiden Lutz's whereabouts.

"We believe they may be in serious danger," the Missing Persons Awareness Network wrote in a description of the fundraiser seeking "to bring home" the two boys. 

Missing Persons Awareness Network

A formal missing persons bulletin released previously by the organization was reposted by the Newton Police Department, although police said they do not have evidence of any immediate threat to their safety. The family was last seen at their residence in Newton, a small city in southeastern Illinois near the Indiana border.

A no-contact order required Stephen to stay away from his wife and two young children over reports of abuse and domestic violence, according to Newton police. He was facing domestic battery charges and had appeared in court via Zoom in January, the police department said in a news release. The no-contact order, which barred entry to the family's home, was a condition of his release on bond. 

The Missing Persons Awareness Network said a U-Haul, attached to Stephen's truck, pulled out of the driveway of the family's home in the middle of the night on Feb. 10. While they have noted that it is unclear who was driving the vehicle, the organization said that both Lutz parents were seen at the residence that night. 

Before their disappearance, Aiden Lutz had told his older sister that his family was going to take him on vacation, but he did not know where they were going, according to the Missing Persons Awareness Network. The organization said that the U-Haul truck parked at the family home for less than two hours before disappearing on Feb. 10, leaving the home "abandoned."

The U-Haul "was returned," according to the Missing Persons Awareness Network. The organization said the family's vehicle "has been sighted in multiple states" across the country since their disappearance and "can be anywhere."

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